From new business neighbors to new roads, and a changing of the guard for police and schools, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park celebrated encouraging highs and sobering lows in 2013.
New businesses are sprouting up along the 610 corridor in Brooklyn Park. This month, Olympus Surgical Technologies broke ground on a $37 million manufacturing facility just south of the highway this is expected to bring in more than 300 jobs, including 100 newly created positions.
In September, the Brooklyn Park City Council approved a plan to give Baxter Health Care about $2 million in tax help to remodel a vacant industrial building, also along 610.
Work to fill the new Shingle Creek Crossing in Brooklyn Center continues. The Mid-America Real Estate Group told the City council about 70% of the site is leased or pre-leased to businesses. Also, the City Council recently approved plans to tear down the old Brookdale Mall food court to make way for new retail buildings.
Road repair work on I-694 in Brooklyn Center created a traffic nightmare for drivers this summer, as did construction along County Road 81 in Brooklyn Park. However, both major projects wrapped up just in time for winter weather to wreak a different kind of havoc.
On August 22, a man was killed outside a Brooklyn Center Motel near I-694 and Shingle Creek Parkway. It was the city's first homicide since 2011. The very next day, in an unrelated case, a man was killed in the same area during a traffic stop. Investigators said he was shot while struggling with Brooklyn Center Police.
Meantime, a man was indicted for two separate homicides with ties to Brooklyn Park. Alberto Palmer is accused of killing 18-year-old Brittany Clardy and 24-year-old Klaressa Cook. In February, Clardy's body was found in a car that had been towed from a Brooklyn Park apartment complex. In May, Cook's Body was found inside a car that had been towed from the Brooklyn Park Rainbow Foods parking lot. Palmer said he met both women through the website www.backpage.com
In May, a judge convicted St. Louis man Eddie Mosley of killing Delois Brown and her elderly parents, James and Clover Bolden, in Brown's Brooklyn Park home in 2012. Mosley is serving three life sentences for the crimes.
Brooklyn Park welcomed a new police chief. Craig Enevoldsen became the city's top cop after Mike Davis left to become head of public safety at Northeastern University, a private school in Boston.
Finally, Brooklyn Center Schools welcomed a new superintendent after Keith Lester retired... for real this time. After 43 years in education, the Brooklyn Center graduate called his eight years as leader of the district the most challenging and gratifying of his career.
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